Having visited the majestic Sinharaja Rainforest from the Pitadeniya entrance just last week, this weekend we are on our way to Morningside. I’ve heard too much about this side to miss this opportunity.

Morningside is in the eastern side of the Sinharaja, hence named by colonial tea planters of the Lankaberiya Estate.  It is located off Suriyakanda between Rakwana and Deniyaya and you guessed right…the road leading up to the bungalow is terrible! The Sinhala translation is “himidiri pedesa”.

But once there, the views are somewhat breathtaking.

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Looking for someplace closer to Colombo to travel to, I stumbled upon The Ark in Matugama. The journey along the Southern Expressway was less than an hour and yet the steep climb in the latter part of the trip makes it seem as if I am in the central province.

The narrow winding road climbs through shrub and (sometimes) dense jungle up until the car park. From that point, there is a short walk to The Ark.

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Happy birthday Rajah!

So it’s back to the Rainforest Eco Lodge for a birthday celebration. This time, the Southern Expressway cuts down my travel time considerably although the last hour of the road condition leading up to the Lodge is pretty messed up.

Once I pass the Park Office gates and enter the protected forest area, the scenery changes dramatically. Driving through the forest is like entering a layered crayon box of green colors. From the differing shades of colors of the foliage, to the serenity, the fresh air, the sounds of birds, crickets and other small insects adds another dimension to this forest.

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At an altitude of  1280m, the Tillicoultry bungalow is located at a very picturesque setting. That, together with the chill in the air and the company is already making this weekend quite welcoming.

The Tillicoultry bungalow is located in Lindula, in the Nuwara Eliya district.  This colonial-styled estate bungalow has five large rooms, with a large garden that overlooks the Horana Plantation tea fields.

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It has not been easy staying indoors and being deprived of travel. Lockdowns, locked in, quarantine, and safety protocols have taken a toll on most travel during 2020, though I’ve had the good fortune of racking up the miles, locally.

One of my last trips in 2020 is to Mannar. Ideally it should have been Myanmar but I had to settle for Mannar. I am returning after one year and looking for different experiences.

On the main Madawachchiya- Mannar road, just in front of the turnoff to the revered Madhu Church is a small road that leads to the Kunchukulam Hanging Bridge.

Five-arch Bridge

 

But first I pass a concrete five-arch bridge. Built in 2013, this is a flow control bridge which possibly carries the excess water back to the main tributary.

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